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EV Glossary

Electric Vehicle common terms explained

“EV” Language

Jargon can be a massive obstacle to any new technology, and the electric vehicle industry is a serial offender. Thankfully we’re here to help. Refer to this page and you’ll never have to ask the difference between EVs, BEVs and PHEVs ever again.


General Terms

Synonymous with EV, but specific to all-electric cars with a battery. No hybrids, no petrol, no hydrogen.

As the name suggests, these cars accept combustion fuel and an electric plug. Not the same as regular hybrids, which only take fuel.

Measurement of electrical power (how fast a car is charging).

Measurement of energy (how full a car battery is); equal to one kilowatt of power delivered for one hour.

Term for all kinds of charging equipment: stations, cables, leads, adapters, etc.

Types of Charging

A slow charge, usually overnight, when the battery is close to full or the charger can only supply a small amount of power.

Typical charging from home or public charging stations.

Public stations that use DC power to charge your vehicle extremely quickly. Generally upwards of 50 kW.

Charging from a domestic power outlet using a portable charging cable.

A charger that outputs alternating current (AC) power. Used in home chargers or smaller public stations where drivers are likely to park for longer.

A charger that outputs direct current which flows directly into the battery. This is more efficient than AC charging; often found on highways or locations where speed is a priority.

A radio frequency card-based ID technology used to access public charging stations.

Plug Types

The first plug-type to appear in Australia; these have been replaced by Type 2 as the standard for Australian EV. Use an adapter to access public chargers with these plugs.

The Australian standard EV plug design, used by charging networks nationwide. Older EVs with Type 1 plugs will need an adapter to use these.

A plug design that allows regular AC charging and fast DC charging with the same plug.

Abbreviation of the French “CHArge de MOve”; a DC-specific fast charging plug used primarily by Japanese manufacturers.

An abbreviation for the standard 3-prong power plugs used throughout Australia.

Charging Levels

Charging from a GPO using a portable charging cable.

Charging from an AC charging station at home or in public. This method uses EV-specific plugs and stations and is usually at least 3x faster than level 1 charging.

Charging from a DC charger. Stations of this size and speed are generally only available on select public networks or for commercial use. DC charging is incredibly powerful, delivering full charges in as little as 15 minutes.


The most common type of power, used in most residential households.

More common in industrial areas but can also be found in some residential areas. It is capable of transferring more power to certain compatible EVs.

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Whether you’ve just purchased your Electric Vehicle or you’re investigating your charging options, TBS EV Charging Solutions offers services to meet your needs.

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